Frequently Asked Questions

What is the time commitment for CALS QuickStart?
QuickStart: Foundations (Inter-Ag 140) is a 1 credit, 8-week online course. Students can expect to spend about 5 hours per week on the course content, most of which you can do at your own weekly pace/time. This course is designed to fit with other things you have going on in your life (working, traveling, sports/activities, volunteering, helping your family, etc). If you have questions about your specific situation, contact us at

UW-Madison has many students and many opportunities, so it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. QuickStart makes campus seem a lot more manageable. It incorporates fun activities and discussions to bring you and your peers closer, challenges your thoughts and opinions, and teaches you useful information about the campus and all its opportunities. I’m now feeling even more excited (and prepared) for my time at UW-Madison.

Amanda Mui 2018 CALS QuickStart Scholar Biochemistry and Spanish Major

What is the cost?
Please see our costs & financial aid page for the tuition and fees associated with our program. We offer many need-based scholarships, as part of our application process. If you have concerns about being able to participate, please contact

What happens during early move-in?
CALS QuickStart students have the option to move into their residence halls earlier than the general population. During these first few days on campus, students participate in an array of programming: from panels to lab tours to community dinners. It is a great way to get to know other students, faculty, and staff in CALS and get acclimated to campus. Details on early move-in and related programming will be sent to applicants in late spring.

What are first-year seminars?
At UW-Madison, first-year seminars are small, discussion-based courses designed to support new students in their transition to academic and student life at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (learn more here). The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) requires all students complete a first-year seminar. QuickStart Foundations (Inter-Ag 140) fulfills this requirement.

Can I do more than one first-year seminar/experience?
Yes! We highly encourage you to do more than one if that is of interest. First-year seminars cover different topics, so they often provide different opportunities to you as a first-year student. Many of our QuickStart alums speak the praises of taking 2 first-year seminars (like QuickStart and a FIG or QuickStart and a Residence Hall Learning Community seminar).

Do I need to know my major to participate in QuickStart?
Nope! QuickStart is a great space to figure stuff like that out. Whether you are 100% sure of your plans, completely undecided or somewhere in between, QuickStart is for you. The structure of the program allows you to tailor the coursework and assignment to fit your needs and goals.

Are campus resources (like dining, health services, recreation facilities) open during early move-in?
Yes! We will also build some of these activities into our programming.

Can I participate in early move-in activities if I am not living in the residence halls?
Yes, you can still participate in all of our activities if you are living off-campus or commuting.